Honesty vs. Candor / Manners vs. Trust

Yesterday, I did a neat test at tickle about my emotional style called What’s Behind Your Emotions courtesy of the ever marvelous Riihele. Anyway, the results of this test were:
“your emotions are triggered by your underlying belief in Honesty. In other words, your commitment to leading an honest life, and your belief in the truth, directly affect how, and how often, you experience certain feelings. For example, your test results indicate that you’re most fulfilled when you can share all your thoughts and feelings — good or bad. That factor is directly related to your fundamental belief in honesty and the range of emotions it triggers.”
And then I got to thinking about this conclusion and realized that there is a lot of truth to it (in my honest estimation-hehe), and I think that it’s been both a gift and a curse throughout my life.

Not too long ago, a blog buddy who I’m thinking more and more of as a friend (nod and wave to Pris) said something about how I wasn’t afraid to say what I think or to be sincere in doing so, and I took that as a marvelous compliment. Being open and honest has always been one of the things that I do well . . . too well, sometimes. Anyway, so then Pris asked me how long I’ve been single, and I said forever and probably because I am too open and honest and do say exactly what I think and feel. Bonus: people always know where they stand with me. Downside: people always know where they stand with me.

So THEN I’m watching Buffy last night (the episode, Tally, in which Anya and Spike hook up at the Magic Box, and the Scoobies see it via the Trio’s hidden cam), and one of the characters–an ex-demon, not so ironically–was talking about how everyone misunderstood her candor and directness. And I’ve felt that, too (actually, I’ve also felt ex-demony, but I’m guessing we’ve all felt that! No? Just me, then.).

Then someone else (not on my friends list, so I won’t name him) blogged on manners, and that got me thinking about how manners are in direct violation of all laws of human honesty, and the people who get the best of my manners rarely get the best of ME. This is not to say that I don’t say “please” and “thank you” or that I don’t let people in front of me in traffic (I do all that); heck, at the grocery store or Walmart, I even let people with only a few items go ahead of me in line if my cart is full (and talk about getting astounded looks from people!). This isn’t to say that I’m boorish or rude, just that being polite isn’t always the most honest thing to be, that’s all.

Manners versus honesty ramble to follow, feel free to scroll past it: I have quite a few pet peeves, and being all motivated by honesty and such, I do sometimes find it difficult (or even impossible) to bite my tongue. For example, over the Thanksgiving break, my dad and I went to see a movie (which I blogged about in Movie Night: Flags of Our Fathers). While we were watching this heart-wrenching, absorbing, and quite breathtaking movie, a woman on the other side of the theater was eating her apparently more delicious than anything ever created popcorn so loudly that she might as well have been sitting on my shoulder. I turned to look at her (you know that, would you please not eat so loudly look), and her mouth was wide open, her tongue and lips smacking, and the popcorn crunching. She was too far away and it was too dark for me to tell, but I feel certain that little bits of chewed popcorn and that icky yellow part that gets stuck in your gums were flying out of her huge mouth and onto her lap. Or back into the bottomless tub of popcorn she had. She never once shut her mouth, not once, thus the echoing crunch fest.

The people all around her and me (way on the other side of the theater, remember?) were shifting in their seats and whispering to each other, some (like me) were looking back at her, and she was completely oblivious. Completely. Now I get that some people have dental problems that may preclude them eating popcorn or any other inherently crunchy food as quietly as possible, and I get that popcorn and movies go together like hot chocolate and those yummy mini marshmallows, what I don’t get is being so self absorbed that she would infringe on others’ ability to enjoy a film just so that she could enjoy it (how she heard it is a mystery to me). Me? I didn’t say anything, but it certainly frustrated and aggravated me. If I’d been sitting closer, I may have said something, I don’t know. I kind of doubt it, not because of honesty, but just that it’s sometimes better not to say anything at all.

Me? I’ve always been a straight shooter, and I’ve always dealt better with reality and truth. I get confused and upset when I don’t know what’s going on because people are being all secretive or worse when I’m lied to about what’s going on. People who tell “white lies” confound me; I’ve actually had an exboyfriend tell me that he lied to me to “protect me” and so he wouldn’t “hurt my feelings.” Shows not only why he’s an ex but also how very little he knew me; nothing hurts me more than being mislead and lied to. Nothing. Okay, well, except for that truck, but that was a whole other kind of pain.

There seem to be all these triggers lately for me to do a bit of self-reflection and decide how I want to “be” in the world, and I just don’t see compromising my integrity as an option, nor do I really see how I could change this thing about myself if I wanted to do so. Maybe it’s okay to ensure that I surround myself with good, honest, and dignified (Rii!!) folk, rather than phoney posers (that ex is long gone, after all)? And maybe it follows that I’m not interested in what those phoney posers think because I think very little of and about them? Maybe it’s okay to have strong opinions and not be worried about people’s reactions to my expressing them, as long as they are true to who I am and how I feel? Maybe. I hope so.


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